Category Archives: Setsubun

It’s Setsubun time

  Setsubun in Kyoto lasts from Feb 2-4, though Feb 3 is the main day. It’s a syncretic festival, and below is a list of temples and shrines where activities take place, taken from Kyoto Visitor (photos are my own).  … Continue reading

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Setsubun background

An article by Alan Wiren in the Kansai Scene this month provides some interesting information about the Setsubun festival.  (The full article can be read here.) 1) It’s traditional to gather up the scattered beans and eat the same number … Continue reading

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Setsubun at Yasaka Jinja

Each Kyoto shrine has its own attraction for the Setsubun ritual. Some feature special demon costumes. Some invite celebrities. Some prepare extensive gifts and make sure that everyone gets beans. Yasaka Jinja offers dances by maiko (apprentice geisha) for the … Continue reading

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Setsubun at Shimogamo

Fresh, freezing White moon on a blue sky – Eygrets flying home Yesterday saw Kyoto burst out in a riot of demons and bean-throwing as the city indulged in Setsubun activities.  (For an explanation, click here.)  At Shimogamo the day … Continue reading

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Setsubun – why beans?

February 3 is Setsubun when Japanese mark the seasonal break and look forward to the coming of spring.  In Japan’s old lunar calendar, taken from the Chinese, it used to be associated with the New Year which took place around … Continue reading

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